What made me pick Grenada, you will ask? Well, first of all I have always been open to new experiences. I am lucky that my parents are supportive and will always understand if I decided to move anywhere in the world. I took my MCAT in 2014 and my score was weak. I was managing both work and studying for MCAT and it was tough. I took the new MCAT in 2015 and performed a little better. I knew that applying to Medical Schools in USA as an international student will be hard. I did apply to couple of universities and had the same response from all of them. I was a little disheartened but did not lose hope. My father wanted me to study in Europe since it would be cheaper for him and I would be closer home(also US schools don’t give financial aid to International students, smh).
I was applying to English Medical schools in Europe in January 2016. Well, there are limited English schools in Europe besides the UK obviously(pre-Brexit). I applied in Prague, Netherlands, Hungary. I was getting accepted to these schools too but I was NOT ready to leave the US. There was this lingering fear, I don’t know why. I didn’t even feel the same way when I was leaving Delhi for my undergrad.
I knew couple of people from Boston University who were studying in St George’s University, SOM. I got in touch with them to know more about the university and their experiences. As I began looking more about the university, I could see myself living on the island and studying my a** off for 2 years. I saw that they had 97% USMLE Pass Rate and also you get to do your clinical rotations in New York (my favorite city). I heard only good things from the students and how the university prepares you for the exam. I saw they accept international students too so I went ahead and applied in March 2016.
The application process was simple and I applied directly on their website. After 2 weeks or so I emailed the counselor to check the status and she said my application was still under review. I got my interview in April. I was still working in Boston so I had a skype interview. Usually SGU alumni conduct these interviews and it was the same for me. My interview went pretty well. It was more of a casual talk than an interview for sure. I felt confident after the interview and 2 weeks later I was accepted into the Medical School Assessment Program.
I am not sure what the criteria is for MSAP or Charter’s Foundation Program placement but if you do not score 80% in MSAP, you are automatically placed in CFP. Well, I had heard MSAP was intense and I heard right. 4 weeks of intense studying. Honestly you need to study for more than 30 hours a week. I quit my job in Boston and came to Munich to stay with my dad for a month. I was trying to manage MSAP and traveling to Berlin, Prague at the same time. Anatomy, physiology was completely new to me because I never took it in undergrad. There were weeks when I did not enjoy the course material but some weeks were definitely more interesting. In the end, I made it to borderline and was admitted to CFP. I am actually looking forward to it now because it will strengthen by background and make term 1 easier. CFP requires you to maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher and is definitely going to be challenging but I am mentally prepared to take up the challenge. I was able to learn 4 months condensed material in a month for MSAP so I am all warmed up 🙂 .
Sorry for the long post but if you have any questions about MSAP, I will try my best to answer them. My next post will focus on packing and getting excited. 7 MORE DAYS TO GO!!!